host a photo session, I try to schedule it so that we are
here during the "optimal" time of day for this,
my favorite window. Frankly, most of the time, the
light is average or sub-optimal, but fairly often, the planet
aligns with the sun, and the weather cooperates, and we
find interesting conditions for photography. I'm always
looking, and this day, we found some good conditions.
odd -- this really is my only north-ish facing window in
my whole house. My house is less than two feet away
from a nine story building, but the building is set back
from the sidewalk. This window is on the second floor,
but there is a rooftop garden in front of the neighboring
building, and this window looks out over it.
if you can pull your eyes away from Tiana, you can see my
new, wall mounted boom arm up above that door (which leads
down to the front door).
Here's a token
color image. Even though it's in color, you can see
that the image is pretty monochromatic, so why not use my
Tiana looks breathtaking in this image. I don't often
ask models to pose in this particular corner, but I do like
how the light is softened by the window shade & how
it sweeps across her figure. I swear, she's like a
sculpture of an idealized female figure. She's just
or to be more specific, the exposure of these images is
really challenging. Especially with digital images,
we can choose brightness & contrast easily -- or worse,
we can choose to let our camera and/or our editing software
to make those decisions for us.
I, for one, do this for the challenge.
|I am a great admirer of
models. Being a model takes a lot more than being
attractive. Models have to focus. Models have
to know how to move. Models have to appreciate the
light & how they can interact with it. Models
have to understand what the photographer is seeing &
what the photographer is trying to create, and they have
to figure out how to help her/him create it. The best
models do this effortlessly.
I love the light in this image, above, especially the
highlight under Tiana's chin.
|Many other photographers disagree, but I
strongly prefer eye contact with the models who pose for
me. I hate images of models staring wistfully off
into the distance, because I wonder why the photographer
can be so boring as to fail to keep the model's attention.
I like the contact.
This image is a nightmare. When one works with
natural sunlight, the conditions can change radically in
an eye blink, and then they can change again the next eye
blink. This image has exposure problems all over the
place, but somehow it works for me. It's a real setting.
Tiana's eye contact is comfortable, confident, and intimate.
I love how the light sweeps down from the window, and how
we can see the white-on-white on the wall.
Call this a favorite.
-- the lighting conditions are difficult, but it's obvious
that I'm excited by this setup. I can tell by the
large number of exposures we are making.
was a time early in my involvement with photography when
I was interested in perfection. Everything in the
image had to be perfect. Everything in the image had
to serve a purpose. Everything had to be in focus.
Everything had to have the perfect tone.
I like real settings. I like being in the moment with
all that happens. I don't mind if the light on Tiana's
knee has blasted out. I'm beginning to embrace, or
even love, all the imperfections. Besides, any imperfections
can make Tiana's perfection even more stunning.
noticing that I like to include a wider area in my images
(not here, of course, but in other images). It's interesting
to me how my tastes are still evolving.
A couple of
I don't know why this image came out so contrasty, and
I'm not sure whether I like it or not. I do know
that the white along her side bleeding into the white
of the window shade does bother me a bit, but I do love
Tiana's post & expression.
Space in this area is tight, so I often use a wide angle
lens. In order to minimize lens distortions, it's
important to keep the lens strictly level.
I do like keeping the camera low. In this case,
the camera is pretty low, down around below Tiana's
knees. I like the overall perspective, and I especially
like the downcast to Tiana's gaze.
I think part of the appeal to images like this is that
there is a wide variety of lighting going on here.
I also like what that mirror does for the composition.
This image probably wouldn't be so interesting (or "balanced")
to me if the wall was blank there.
|When we are working on a concept, we try
lots of variations, and I'm usually the one who says when
we are done. The good models, like Tiana, just keep
moving & posing & responding to my feedback -- they
are always showing me something new.
Tiana moves directly in front of the window shade, and
we try some images there. This is the transition image,
where I include some of that side wall with the mirror.
I do like the balance of this composition, but I'm always
searching for something newer. So, I change camera
position & use the window to frame the image.
I know it's an exposure nightmare, but if you never try,
you'll never know.
Pay attention to how light wraps around Tiana's torso.